Updated Oct. 2018
What are the necessary ingredients to build your business? It seems to be an ongoing struggle, you had a bright idea and decided to start your business, you have a few clients but what next? After all there are not enough hours in the week to keep juggling the networking events, content development, social sharing etc. It’s overwhelming, especially when you’ve been working and working but seeing very few results.
Part of the problem is that you may not have the right foundation in place with the proper tools necessary to help expand and streamline your efforts. No worries though, we’ve got you covered! In the first of this two-part series on proven steps to grow your business online we’ll walk through the first four elements absolutely crucial to marketing and growing your business online.
There is a formula to getting clients, boosting sales and building a successful business online. Understand the formula, apply it consistently, and you’ll soon reap the rewards.
The first of six proven steps to grow your business online
Like all areas in life, in order to be efficient and profitable online, you MUST begin with a solid foundation. On the mental side you have to get clear on what it is that you are trying to accomplish.
Step #1: Clarity – A lack of clarity is like operating with one arm tied behind your back – take the time to get clear, not just now, but each time you are looking to expand. There is a direct link between clarity and success – so get clear! Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your business?
- What are you offering?
- What is your primary objective?
- What does your business day look like?
- Are you working from home, or do you have an outside office?
- Are you a solopreneuer?
- Do you have a staff or virtual assistants?
Take time to answer those questions with as much detail as possible.
Clarity is Key to Success, especially in the noisy online world!
Follow these proven steps to grow your business online
On the physical side, you follow a system: deliver value, collect emails, always follow up, give more than expected, rinse and repeat. And you do all that with the following tools:
- A Website
- An email service provider (or autoresponder) to capture emails
- Targeted Content for Clients
Step #2: Website – Start with the proper foundation by installing and setting up your WordPress site/blog (if you haven’t already done so). While there are several do-it-yourself website builders out there – the only platform you want to use to build your website is WordPress for these reasons:
- Offers plenty of Free templates
- Allows installation of helpful tools (plug-ins)
- Automatic software updates
Step #3: Autoresponder (email service provider) – Next you’ll need a way to capture emails. I work with several email autoresponder companies primarily because my clients use different services. While they are all fairly easy to use, most only offer a 30-day free trial period and not all of them allow you to import contacts you may have met offline without jumping through several hoops – you don’t need that headache. I personally recommend Mailchimp especially when you’re just starting out. MailChimp is completely free until you hit 2,000 subscribers. Sign up for a free email account at www.mailchimp.com
Step #4: Targeted Content for Clients – Building a solid business online requires one main item, which is critical to the success of your business: a list of subscribers. If you’re not building a list you’re not building a business.
Without a list of subscribers (prospects), you have no one to present your offer(s) to. It’s no different than the offline sales cycle: search for prospects within your target market, develop a relationship with those prospects. What problem do they have that you can solve? Provide the solution to their problem, close the sale.
Building your email list is a crucial & proven step to grow your business online
There are a few ways to build a list of subscribers: the fastest way is through paid advertising. However, not too many people building a business online have the budget for paid advertising nor do they understand how to write effective ad copy.
A second way is through social media. Sharing content through social media is a necessity of having an online presence. All forms of content, whether it is a blog, video, audio or images, should contain a call to action (CTA) and a link to an opt-in form.
The third way is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) using keywords to target your ideal market.
You want to share your content across the social channels but you also want your content working for you through SEO. This is where keyword research comes into play and why it’s important. Understanding how to get your content to rank is key to building an online presence. But before you can set out to get your content to rank, you have to know your target audience and provide your audience with value.
The better you know your target audience, the more engagement you’ll have.
Before you create any type of content you should make sure there’s a viable market. Begin by listing the details of your ideal client:
- What is his/her age range?
- What problem(s) may he/she be facing that you can offer a solution to?
- Are there are people who want or need the information you provide?
- How will they benefit from your product/service?
- What would he/she be searching for online?
- Do you understand what motivates or inspires them?
- Can they afford your product/service?
- Can they be found on social media?
Take the time to get as detailed as you can with your answers. Once you have a profile of your ideal target market you can optimize your site with the intent of reaching that market.
In the second part of this series, we’ll discuss marketing tactics to build your credibility and expand your reach, and traffic strategies to attract more clients to your business. In the meantime, answer the questions above. Without a clearly defined market, you cannot set a marketing game plan to grow your business. You must begin with clarity.
Want more in-depth training? Access our free 3 – part training series simplifying the process of marketing and growing your business online.
You can access the Free Video Training Series here: Access Training